I subscribed to Globe Unlimited over the past winter break. For the uninitiated, it’s a Globe and Mail product that offers full access to the newspaper, the Globe’s Report on Business, its Politics and Business Insider sections, and a few analytical baubles that typically don’t appear in the newspaper. I decided to take the leap when a paywall appeared, denying me access to a feature I had taken the time (about four seconds) to track down. It told me that, for just 99 cents a week (for the first four weeks), I would be able to read everything that the Globe had to offer me. After the first month, the total would add up to $4.47—slightly more than your average latte. Reasonable, I thought, and I figured that I could do all the reading I wanted during that month and cancel the subscription once the initial 99-cent offer expired.
Naturally—and with no great amount of reading done—I forgot about this plan until a $27.07 charge marked “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON” appeared on my credit card statement. Alarmed, in part because of the uppercase font my credit card company had decided to use, I started searching the Globe website for an unsubscribe button. Of course, when you open an article, there’s no convenient pop-up that asks if you’re still happy paying $27.07 a month for a service you barely use. Without any luck finding the link to unsubscribe, I eventually got distracted by another task.
Another month goes by. I open the banking application on my phone and see that the amount owing is higher than I thought it would be. I tap on the Visa balance and read, “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON.” Another $27.07 charge. This time, I make more of an effort to find the unsubscribe button—that surely must exist, right? I go to the “Help” section and scroll through (seemingly) hundreds of FAQs. Unsuccessful again, I make a mental note to call the customer service line in the morning.
It is now March and the mental note I left for myself has long been washed away in the turbulent sea that is my brain. I open my credit card statement. “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON.” Another $27.07. At this point, I’m thinking that the Globe is an evil, money-sucking leech that has trapped me into a perpetual cycle; an unkind thought that probably isn’t entirely accurate.
In April, I get fed up. I Google “how to unsubscribe from the globe unlimited” and find a helpful page. “To cancel your Globe Unlimited subscription, please contact our Customer Care team at: 1-855-813-6111,” read the Globe’s webpage. I try not to think about the amount of time and money I could have saved had I typed that phrase into my search bar months earlier, and I dial the number. “Thank you for calling the Globe Unlimited customer care centre,” said the automated voice. After speaking with two different people, I was offered a 25 percent discount on the service (for 24 weeks), a Saturday newspaper subscription, and, soon after, a 50 percent discount (an offer I actually pondered for a second before I realized that was how I fell into the trap in the first place). I was assured that the words “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON” would no longer appear on my credit card statement.
Once I hung up the phone, I felt a bit of unsubscriber’s remorse. What if it publishes a feature that gets everyone talking, and I won’t be able to partake in the conversation? At that point, I suppose I could use another credit card to take advantage of the Globe’s 99-cent offer.